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Calumma brevicorne (GÜNTHER, 1879)

IUCN Red List - Calumma brevicorne - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaChamaeleonidae, Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesCalumma brevicorne brevicorne GÜNTHER 1879
Calumma brevicorne tsarafidyi BRYGOO & DOMERGUE 1970 
Common Names 
SynonymChamaeleon brevicornis GÜNTHER 1879: 148
Chamaeleon gularis GÜNTHER 1879: 149
Chamaeleo brevicornis brevicornis — BRYGOO & DOMERGUE 1970
Chamaeleo brevicornis — BRYGOO 1971
Calumma brevicornis brevicornis — KLAVER & BÖHME 1986
Calumma brevicornis — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 245
Calumma brevicornis — NECAS 1999: 238
Calumma brevicorne — LUTZMANN & LUTZMANN 2004
Calumma brevicorne — CAMPBELL & DENZER 2020

Calumma brevicorne tsarafidyi BRYGOO & DOMERGUE 1970
Chamaeleo brevicornis tsarafidyi — BRYGOO & DOMERGUE 1970: 319
Calumma brevicornis tsarafidyi — KLAVER & BÖHME 1997 
DistributionE/N Madagascar, elevation ~900 m.

tsarafidyi: Toliara Province,; Type locality: “Forêt du Tsarafidyi, sous-prefecture d'Ambohimahasoa, Madagascar”

Type locality: Madagascar (near Antananarivo, foret de Tsarafidyi, sous-prefecture d’Ambohimahasoa)

gularis: Type locality: near Antananarivo, Madagascar  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.21.41, male
Holotype: NHMUK 1946.8.21.50, female (previously NHMUK 1880.7.15.2), [gularis]
Holotype: MNHN-RA 1993.0172 (formerly MNHN-RA A0172) [tsarafidyi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Calumma chameleon from Madagascar that differs from all congeners by the combination of a male single ossified rostral appendage projecting at least 2.5 mm (anterior to the mouth), which is laterally flattened, with three longitudinal scale rows at base in lateral view; adult SVL 90–170 mm; and a pair of large occipital lobes that are dorsally united to each other by up to 3 mm in adult. Calumma brevicorne is most similar to C. amber and C. crypticum, but can be distinguished by its male rostral appendage (laterally flattened, with three longitudinal scale rows at base in lateral view vs. dorsoventrally flattened, with two longitudinal scale rows), large adult SVL (110–170 mm vs. ,117 mm), and occipital lobe size (al ways reaches a level at or below ventral margin of eye vs. may only reach a level above ventral margin of the eye). [from RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM 2006]. 
CommentChamaeleo brevicornis hilleniusi BRYGOO, BLANC & DOMERGUE, 1973 has been elevated to full species status.

The status of the subspecies Calumma brevicorne tsarafidyi (Brygoo and Domergue, 1970) has remained uncertain since it was first described. It is known from a single male specimen that differs from nominal Calumma brevicorne only by its bizarre indented and reduced occipital lobes (a condition unknown for any other chameleon species). The describing authors suggested this specimen might actually represent either a distinct species, or else an aberrantly developed individual. C.J. Raxworthy examined the holotype (MNHN A-172), and RAXWORTHY & NUSSBAUM (2006) conclude that this is a typical adult male Calumma brevicorne with mutilated occipital lobes. The large size of this male (130 mm SVL) and form of the rostral appendage (with 5-mm projection) all fit diagnostic features typical of C. brevicorne. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin brevis = short and cornu = horn. 
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  • Barbour, Thomas 1918. Vertebrata from Madagascar. 2. Amphibia and Reptilia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 61 (14): 479-489. - get paper here
  • Boumans, Louis; David R. Vieites, Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences 2007. Geographical patterns of deep mitochondrial differentiation in widespread Malagasy reptiles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (3): 822-839 - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. & C. A. Domergue 1970. Notes sur les Chamaeleo de Madagascar. C. brevicornis Günther, 1(7), C. tsarafidyi nov.subsp. Les hemipénis des Caméléons du groupe brevicornis. . Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat., Paris 42 (2): 311-320. - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. & C. P. Blanc & C. A. Domergue 1973. Notes sur les Chamaeleo de Madagascar. XI. Un nouveau Caméléon de l'Ankaratra: C. brevicornis hilleniusi n.subsp. . Bull. Soc. Zool. France 98 (1): 113-120.
  • CAMPBELL, PATRICK D; WOLFGANG DENZER 2020. Annotated catalogue of chameleon types in the collection of the Natural History Museum, UK (NHMUK) (Reptilia: Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Zootaxa 4742 (3): 481–500 - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
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  • RAXWORTHY, C.J.; ENRIQUE MARTINEZ-MEYER; NED HORNING; RONALD A. NUSSBAUM; GREGORY E. SCHNEIDER; MIGUEL A. ORTEGA-HUERTA & A. TOWNSEND PETERSON 2003. Predicting distributions of known and unknown reptile species in Madagascar. Nature 426: 837 - 841 - get paper here
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